Cenotes Near Playa del Carmen
With exquisite white sand beaches, vast tourist complexes, and easy access to spectacular Mayan ruins, this city is one of Mexico’s most touristic and popular. And the crystal-clear water cenotes near Playa del Carmen are a must-see for their beauty and majesty.
From the shallow waters of the Cenote Azul, one of the cenotes in Playa del Carmen, to the stunning Cenote Zacil-Ha in adjacent Tulum, there are beautiful cenotes surrounding Playa del Carmen just waiting to be explored.
After visiting the Cenotes Playa Del Carmen route in early 2020, we wanted to share our favorites, so we created this travel guide to help you plan your vacation and have all the information you need.
13 Best Cenotes near Playa del Carmen
These are our top 13 Playa del Carmen cenotes; we think they’d make a terrific addition to any Playa del Carmen or Yucatan itinerary!
The best: Cenote Azul is a great area for families to bathe outside, relax in the water, and enjoy reasonably easy natural platform jumps.
The large and open Cenote Azul, with shallow waters and a fun cliff jump, is one of our favorite cenotes in Playa Del Carmen.
The main cenote is divided into two swimming areas, separated by a boardwalk. The shallow side of the cenote, where smaller children can splash in the clear water, is popular among families.
The deeper pool is protected by a reef, perfect for enjoying a leap into the cenote. Snorkeling is also popular in this area.
Tips for the best Playa Del Carmen cenotes: Cenote Azul is easily accessible from Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum, so it’s very popular. Visiting first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon is recommended to avoid the crowd.
How to get to Cenote Azul: Cenote Azul is easily accessible with a rental car, a local colectivo, or a quick taxi. Colectivos depart from 2nd Street in Playa del Carmen; you just have to tell the driver you want to get off at Cenote Azul.
Price for entering Cenote Azul: Entry to Cenote Azul costs 120 pesos per person.
2- Cenote Zacil-Ha
The best: ideal for families.
If you plan a trip to Playa del Carmen, you must visit Cenote Zacil Ha and its neighbor, the Cenote Carwash.
Cenote Zacil-Ha is a small and beautiful outdoor cenote with crystal clear water. There are many areas to jump from the sides, even the zipline, and fall into the cenote from above. Other features are the hammocks and regular pools for swimming and relaxing.
How to Get There: Cenote Zacil Ha is an excellent complement to a day trip to Tulum or Coba. It is easily accessible by vehicle rental. When you arrive in Tulum via Colectivo from Playa del Carmen, take a cab or another Colectivo to Coba.
Colectivos leave from Playa del Carmen’s 2nd Street; tell the driver where you want to get off.
Cenote Zacil Ha admission fee: Cenote Zacil Ha admission fee is 80 pesos.
3- The Gran Cenote
Snorkeling, diving, and swimming are all recommended activities.
The Gran Cenote, located on the outskirts of Tulum, is big and popular. It is made up of tunnels, caverns, and an outdoor cenote. It is one of the greatest diving cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula.
The waters are so clear that tortugas may often be seen swimming in them. The Great Cenote is also a great place to snorkel.
Swimming and diving in caves is rather simple, getting amazing views of the sun’s rays entering the water via the cave’s opening and seeing the rock formations.
El Gran Cenote, one of Playa Del Carmen’s best cenotes, is quite popular and should be visited early or late in the day to avoid crowds. The cenote is open from 8:00 a.m. to 16:45, with the last entry at 16:15.
To get to the Grand Cenote, take a cab or a second colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Cobá when you arrive in Tulum. The colectivos leave from two streets in Playa del Carmen; simply tell the driver where you want to go.
Price of admission to the Grand Cenote: Admission to the Grand Cenote costs 180 pesos.
4- Carwash Cenote
Swimming, diving, and those seeking a conveniently accessible and soothing cenote experience are all ideal.
The modest and soothing Ak Tun Ha cenote, located next to Zacil-Ha, is also known as the Carwash cenote (it was once used to wash vehicles at the spot).
The cenote has a big outdoor pool only a few feet away from the parking lot, and its waters are home to a diverse range of species.
Fish and turtles swim among the stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the rare little crocodile. The path through the bush leads to the cave portion.
Cenote Carwash has a depth of 15 meters and is frequently visited by divers.
How to Get There: Cenote Carwash complements a day trip to Tulum or Coba. It is easily accessible by automobile, either personal or rented. When you arrive in Tulum via Colectivo from Playa del Carmen, take a cab or another Colectivo to Coba. Colectivos leave from Playa del Carmen’s 2nd Street; tell the driver where you want to get off.
The entrance fee at Cenote Carwash is 50 pesos.
If you’re considering going, check out our comprehensive guide to the Cenote Carwash.
Where should you stay in Playa del Carmen?
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5- Dos Ojos Cenote
Perfect for diving, swimming, and snorkeling.
Cenote Dos Ojos, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, is one of the top diving cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Its name translates as Two Eyes Cenote, referring to the two sinkholes joined by a boardwalk that resemble two eyes.
These sinkholes are linked together to form an underground cavern. Many people want to swim across the channel that connects the two sinkholes.
Dos Ojos is a famous diving destination due to its extensive cave system.
How to travel to Cenote Dos Ojos: The best method to travel to Cenote Dos Ojos is to drive yourself or rent a car. If you take a colectivo from Playa del Carmen, the stop is on Highway 307, near the Parque Dos Ojos entrance. Colectivos leave from Playa del Carmen’s 2nd Street; tell the driver where you want to get off.
Ticket price for Cenote Dos Ojos: 450 pesos, including admission to all cenotes in Parque Dos Ojos – Sac Actun and Nicte Ha are both wonderful and well worth seeing if you have the time.
The cost of admission to Cenote Dos Ojos is merely 350 pesos per person.
6- Cristalino Cenote
Cenote Cristalino is extremely near the previously mentioned Cenote Azul and is well worth visiting. This is an open-air cenote with some of Mexico’s most magnificent crystal-clear waters.
How to reach Cenote Cristalino: You may simply reach Cenote Cristalino via your own or rented automobile, local Colectivo, or a short cab. Colectivos leave from Playa del Carmen’s 2nd Street; simply inform the driver you want to get out at Cenote Cristalino. This journey may be paired with a visit to Cenote Azul and Cenote Jardin del Edén, which are both close.
Cenote Cristalino admission charge: The entrance fee to Cenote Cristalino is 150 Pesos per person.
7- Jardn Del Edén Cenote
Cenote Jardin del Edén, along with Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristalino, is one of the most popular cenotes near Playa del Carmen.
When you approach the cenote, also known as Cenote Ponderosa, it is instantly evident why it was given the appellation Jardin del Edén: the enormous outdoor pool is surrounded by thick flora and has the precise look of a Garden of Eden.
Cenote Jardin del Edén is suitable for cliff diving, snorkeling, and swimming in its clean waters. Its cave system is quite popular among divers.
Tip: Because some portions of the Jardn del Edén Cenote are quite deep, carry a life jacket.
How to Get to the Jardn del Edén Cenote: The Jardn del Edén Cenote is easily accessible by owning or renting a car and taking a local Colectivo or a fast cab. The colectivos leave from Playa del Carmen’s 2nd street; simply inform the driver you want to get out at the Jardn del Edén Cenote.
Jardn del Edén Cenote admission charge: The Jardn del Edén Cenote entrance fee is 100 pesos per person.
8- Casa Cenote
Casa Cenote is one of the most unusual cenotes near Playa del Carmen, located on the route between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Lush trees and mangroves border the clear turquoise waters and can be paired with a visit to the nearby beach.
The cenote is great for families because it is just 6 meters deep and allows you to swim, kayak, or paddle. Diving is popular in Casa Cenote, and its system of underwater caverns that run straight into the ocean also draws divers.
Casa Cenote is easily accessible by own or rented car, local Colectivo (if you don’t mind getting off the road), or taxi. Colectivos leave from Playa del Carmen’s 2nd Street; simply tell the driver you want to get out at Casa Cenote; it’s a 20-minute journey through a dirt road surrounded by vegetation.
Casa Cenote admission charge: Casa Cenote admission fee is 120 pesos.
9- Tajma Ha Cenote
Recommended for: intermediate/advanced divers
Divers are captivated by its natural splendor named Cenote Tajma Ha Cenote Taj Mahal. It is quite famous among divers since it is one of the greatest cenotes for diving near Playa del Carmen.
Many businesses offer diving trips to cenotes, and freshwater dives are better suited to intermediate and experienced divers. Cenote Tajma Ha is the greatest spot to practice if you have a diving license.
How to Get to Cenote Tajma Ha: Cenote Tajma Ha is a 30-minute drive from Playa del Carmen and may be reached by local colectivo or taxi. Colectivos leave from Playa del Carmen’s second Street; simply inform the driver you want to get out at Cenote Tajma Ha.
Day tour to the cenotes near Playa del Carmen
Most visitors to Playa del Carmen wish to see at least one of the ancient Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula. We opted to include these beautiful cenotes since they are readily included in a journey to three of Yucatan’s most famous ruins: Chichen Itza, Coba, and Ek Balam.
10- Ik Kil Cenote in Chichen Itza
Ideal for: Those who want to visit one of Mexico’s most gorgeous cenotes.
The neighboring Cenote Ik Kil is one of the most magnificent cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula, and Chichen Itza is one of the most popular excursions from Playa del Carmen.
The Ik Kil cenote’s roof has fallen, resulting in a stunning image of tree roots falling into the cenote waters. Swimming in the Ik Kil cenote while looking out at the open sky is a unique experience we recommend incorporating into your Chichen Itza tour.
Getting to this cenote from Playa del Carmen is simple since there are several tour alternatives, or you may hire a car. The Cenote Ik Kil is usually included in most excursions.
Tip on the greatest cenotes in Playa Del Carmen
Due to the various excursions and visitors that arrive as part of their journey to Chichen Itza, the Ik Kil cenote might fill up with people in the middle of the day. We recommend arriving early to the Cenote Ek Kil – the cenote is best opened at 9:00 a.m. Staying close is one of the most convenient ways to get there. We offer three places we know and trust (prices vary, but you choose based on your budget; the essential thing is that you won’t be surprised and will have a fantastic time).
You may drive to Cenote Ik Kil or take the almost 4-hour ADO bus ride from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza (although we recommend staying in the area to make the most of your time at Ik Kil and Chichen Itza). The most convenient method to see Cenote Ik Kil (other than hiring a car) is on a guided trip to Chichén Itzá. Day trips to Cenote Ik Kil are popular from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.
The cost of entry to Cenote Ik Kil is 80 pesos (about $9).
➥ Check out our comprehensive guide to Cenote Ik Kil if you’re considering visiting it.
11- Ek Balam’s Eleventh-Rated Cenote, Xcanche
Perfect for explorers who want to cool down with a pool after exploring the ruins and those who prefer activities like leaping and ziplining.
Visitors to Mexico interested in seeing some of the country’s lesser-known Mayan ruins often make the trip to Ek Balam. Cenote Xcanche, a stunning cenote in the same town, is conveniently located next to the gateway of the Ek Balam ancient site.
Cenote Xcanche is a stunning open cenote with a waterfall that flows right into it. This tranquil cenote is a popular spot for various extreme sports, including swimming, bungee jumping, and ziplining.
If you’ve spent the morning touring the remains of Ek Balam, Xcanche is the place to unwind and recharge. This cenote is worth the time and effort you put into seeing it.
You can tour the remains of Ek Balam and the cenote on your own time because the cenote’s entrance is before the ticket control.
How to get there: Cenote Xcanche is around 2 km from the Ek Balam ruins’ main gate. You may walk, ride a bike, or take a cyclo-taxi to get there. After exploring the Ek Balam ruins, we rode a cyclo-taxi back to the hotel. You may take a rental vehicle or a bus to Valladolid from Playa del Carmen and then a cab or a local bus to your final destination.
Cenote Xcanche has an entrance fee of 70 pesos per person. We spent 150 pesos for the cab journey there and back (which included entry).
12 – Suytun’s Cenote
Perfect for: investigating the shafts of light that penetrate the cenote cave (this is the finest cenote for Instagram photos).
The breathtaking Cenote Suytun gained notoriety a few years ago thanks to Instagram. The circular platform at the bottom of Cenote Suytun is famous for the gorgeous light that shines through the cenote’s dome.
This cenote lives up to the hype: it’s just as stunning in person as in the photos. A visit to this site may easily be coupled with a visit to the Coba ruins, adding only an hour to the return drive from Playa del Carmen.
Visitors can swim in the Suytun cenote, although many only stops to snap souvenir photographs. Swimmers must wear a life vest.
To avoid crowds, visiting the cenotes in Playa del Carmen early or late in the day is best. However, the rays of light in the Suytun Cenote make it best to visit late in the morning or afternoon since the beams of light may directly touch the circular platform, creating a magnificent experience. In the afternoon, the Suytun cenote may get congested with tour buses.
How to Get to Cenote Suytun: The Suytun Cenote is easily accessible by private or rented automobile. Alternatively, You may take the ADO bus to Valladolid and then a local Colectivo or a fast cab to the ruins. Several Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum trips include the Suytun Cenote as part of a day trip to Chichen Itza.
The admission fee to Cenote Suytun is 120 pesos per person.
➥ Check out our comprehensive guide to the Suytun Cenote if you’re planning a trip.
13- Cenotes in Coba
Many visitors from Playa del Carmen take a day trip to the incredible Mayan ruins of Coba, and there are three great cenotes near the entrance to the Coba ruins: Cenote Choo-Ha, Tamcach-Ha, and Multum-Ha are a series of small cenotes that are perfect for a refreshing swim after exploring the incredible jungle ruins.
The subterranean cenotes Choo-Ha, Tamcach-Ha, and Multum-Ha are all caverns, with the Multum-Ha cenote having a tiny entrance at the top.
Choo-Ha is our favorite, with its crystal blue waters and intriguing rock formations, and its shallow waters make it ideal for a family visit.
Tamcach-Ha, a few hundred meters distant, is similarly lovely, and the leaping platforms make the swim more enjoyable.
Because it is a few kilometers distant, the Multum-Ha cenote demands a bit more effort because it is a few kilometers distant, but the deep waters and rays of light coming through a little hole in the ceiling are a fantastic experience.
The cenotes in Cobá are not particularly popular with tourists and are quite peaceful. We had two of them practically entirely to ourselves during our stay, which was incredible!
The best way to travel to the Coba Cenotes is by automobile from Playa del Carmen as part of a day excursion to the Cobá ruins. Some of the Cobá ruins feature cenotes, but not all of them. As a result, we propose hiring a car in Cancun.
Ticket to Coba Cenotes: A ticket to all three cenotes costs 100 pesos.
What to bring with you to the Playa del Carmen Cenotes
Visiting a cenote differs from visiting a typical pool. Here are some items we recommend you bring when visiting the Gran Cenote.
Cash in hand
Many cenotes, particularly those that are lower in size, such as the Car Wash Cenote, do not take credit cards. You’ll probably need cash to rent a life jacket or buy snacks or drinks. We found it easier to transport pesos in general.
Some of the bigger cenotes accept credit cards, but cash is typically the only choice once inside the cenote.
Towels for the bathroom
Some larger cenotes have towel rentals, but bringing your own towels is often easier and less expensive. Our huge microfibre towels proved to be the ideal choice. Microfiber towels save space and dry rapidly, making them excellent for cenotes where you must return to your car after swimming. We bring these on every vacation and always use them. Amazon has these at very reasonable pricing.
Most cenotes on the Yucatán Peninsula allow snorkeling, and while some cenotes rent snorkeling equipment, it’s more fun to bring your own. If you visit numerous cenotes, it is also a lot more cost-effective choice. Snorkeling is possible in the cenotes due to their crystal-clear water.
Water shoes are good since they provide more traction on the wooden pathways encircle the cenotes. They will also assist you in certain cenotes’ shallower entrances, where you must tread over submerged rocks. Check the costs before packing them for your trip to Yucatán!
When swimming in the cenotes, you cannot wear sunscreen or bug repellent, although you will most likely spend some time in the sun afterward.
A GoPro or an Osmo Action camera is ideal for shooting images and movies. While exploring the cenotes, we always bring our Osmo Action waterproof camera. It enabled us to get stunning photographs and films while swimming in the cenotes.
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